The biotin suggestion is one I use (for my hair actually but it helps with nails, too), but since you sign yourself 'horselover' I'm surprised you don't know about using hoof conditioner on your nails to strengthen them. It REALLY works, and quick too!
Apply it liberally with a cotton swab to your nails and cuticles at night before bed; apply a thin coat with the swab several times during the day-you'll have lovely, strong nails in about a week.
You can buy it at tack stores and pet centres like PetsMart. I used to buy it at Wal-Mart in the pet section but I live in the UK now, and don't know if Wal-Mart still sells horse gear in their pet aisles. It's not terribly expensive, doesn't stain, and has a nice fragrance no matter where you buy it-the stuff I get at the horse centre here in the UK looks, acts, and smells just like the stuff I used to get at Wal-Mart.
Gelatin capsules, which can be bought at any drug store really help. It will take time though for anything to work. A bottle of the capsules is usually around $5.00. But you will need to take them for several months. Don't expect immediate results.
Prenatal vitamins, getting enough protein foods, and an omega-3 supplement is good for hair and nails. Vitamin A (in carrots) is great for skin and nails. Ten minutes of direct sunlight each day provides necessary vitamin D, which is good for general health (immune system, skin, etc).
Increase your Biotin dosage. Biotin is really good for nails and hair. I take a multivitamin with Biotin in it but I also take two Biotin tablets at the same time. I take it for my hair but my mother takes the same dosage for her nails (she has weak nails like you described).
I had artificial nails for my daughter's wedding 6 years ago and never had any problem with my natural nails. After those nails came off I often bought kits at discount stores and applied them myself and still never had any problem between applications. Now my doctors have me on so many over the counter supplements that seem to have my nails growing like weeds. I have an awful time keeping them at what I call a reasonable length. My major complaint now is that at 71 years of age my hair is getting thinner.
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